"Throughout history women have been a big part of our format — and it’s up to us to make sure the woman's voice doesn't die out," Carrie Underwood shares

By Maria Pasquini
May 02, 2019 04:00 PM

Carrie Underwood is using her star-power to promote up-and-coming female artists.

Underwood, 36, kicked off her highly anticipated Cry Pretty Tour 360 on Wednesday — and when choosing which artists would open for her, the country star selected two female groups: Maddie & Tae and Runaway June.

“I think it was definitely on my mind,” Underwood said, while reflecting on the all-women lineup in the April 29 issue of Pollstar magazine, adding that the groups’ talent was still the deciding factor.

“I’m the kind of person who’s competitive, who wants to put on the best show I can! That’s a lot of what I’m thinking about. I want to support talent, and yes, they’re all women, but these artists are very talented at what they do,” she explained.

Ethan Miller/Getty

Continuing, she shared that an all-female bill is exactly the kind of show that’s perfect for her audience to experience.

“You look at my audience, you see tons of little girls. Why wouldn’t they want to see other super-talented young women?” she shared.

The “Love Wins” singer went on to share that supporting women country artists should be something all performers stand behind.

“I feel like it’s all of our responsibility, the men as well as the women,” she shared. “Throughout history women have been a big part of our format — and it’s up to us to make sure the woman’s voice doesn’t die out.”

Carrie Underwood onstge during her Cry Pretty 360 tour
Jeff Johnson

In addition to giving the rising stars a bigger platform, Underwood’s all-female lineup also sends a powerful message.

“Carrie wanted to help some female artists, and I think empowering a generation of young women artists (and fans) is everything she’s about,” Underwood’s longtime CAA agent Jeff Frasco told Pollstar.

“It makes a statement about empowerment from a woman who sells out arenas anywhere she plays,” he shared.

Hannah Mulholland, Naomi Cooke and Jennifer Wayne of Runaway June
Ethan Miller/Getty
Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye of Maddie and Tae
Ethan Miller/Getty

Added Ginny Brophey, the programming director for country radio station WBWL-FM: “Carrie is leading by example. We’re already talking about this bill on the air. For the people who might not think about it [being all women], now they are.”

RELATED VIDEO: Carrie Underwood Reveals Makeup-Free Selfie & Funny Nickname from Her Son: ‘Carefree Underwear’!

The singer’s spirit of empowerment was also on display at the Academy of Country Music Awards last month, when Underwood sang with This Is Us star Chrissy Metz as the television star made her live television singing debut.

Metz, 38, premiered her song “I’m Standing with You” from her movie Breakthrough and was joined onstage by Underwood, as well as fellow female country stars Lauren Alaina, Mickey Guyton and Maddie & Tae.

Carrie Underwood and Chrissy Metz

Praising Underwood’s involvement with putting the performance together, ACM Awards executive producer R.A. Clark told Pollstar that the singer was the driving force in making the musical moment work.

“She was the music driver who knew how to fold all those women into this song — and give them their moment,” he shared. “Their moment is what’s important to her, and you can feel it the second the performance starts.”

Underwood kicked off her Cry Pretty Tour 260 on May 1 with a sold-out show at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. (On Wednesday, she also picked up the 2019 Billboard Music Award for top country female artist).

The show featured plenty of the seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer’s biggest hits, as well as her latest songs off of album Cry Pretty.

Additionally, during her two-hour set, Underwood was joined onstage by her opening acts in order to perform a special tribute to some of country music’s most iconic female performers.